IMF sees Indonesia's growth rising to 5.6%

WASHINGTON • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Indonesia's annual growth will gradually rise to about 5.6 per cent over the medium term, led by robust domestic demand, but it cautioned against building up too much debt in the country's drive to boost infrastructure investment.

The IMF, in its annual review of Indonesia's economic policies released on Tuesday, projected inflation to remain at around 3.5 per cent, with well-anchored inflation expectations.

Indonesia's current account deficit is expected to remain at near 2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) due to firm commodity prices and robust exports, the fund said.

The IMF report projected Indonesia's GDP growth rate this year at 5.3 per cent, compared with 5.1 per cent last year.

"Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside, including spikes in global financial volatility, uncertainty around US economic policies, lower growth in China and geopolitical tensions," the IMF said.

While global growth and commodity prices could surprise on the upside, aiding Indonesia's outlook, the IMF said domestic risks include tax revenue shortfalls and larger fiscal financing needs due to higher interest rates.

RISK FACTORS

Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside, including spikes in global financial volatility, uncertainty around US economic policies, lower growth in China and geopolitical tensions.

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, in its annual review of Indonesia's economic policies.

The IMF welcomed Indonesia's progress in boosting infrastructure investment, but stressed the pace should be aligned with available financing and the economy's ability to absorb new investment.

"Priority should be given to financing infrastructure with domestic revenue, as well as greater private sector participation, including foreign direct investment," the IMF board said in its assessment. "This would limit the build-up of corporate external debt and contingent liabilities from state-owned enterprises."

The IMF board also called for the authorities to reduce state control and the role of state-owned enterprises in some sectors of the economy, and to improve the level and quality of education spending.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2018, with the headline 'IMF sees Indonesia's growth rising to 5.6%'. Subscribe